Two days in Killarney is enough time to explore both Killarney National Park, a 24,700-acre (10,000-hectare) expanse of lakes, woodlands, and mountains, and the Ring of Kerry, a scenic driving route around the Iveragh Peninsula. Take advantage of 48 hours in Killarney with the following itinerary.
Use a hop-on hop-off bus to reach the Lakes of Killarney—Lough Leane, Muckross Lake, and Upper Lake—which together cover about a quarter of Killarney National Park. Then embark on a sightseeing cruise, private boat tour, or kayaking excursion to Innisfallen Island, where the ruins of a 12th-century priory stand.
Head for the Gap of Dunloe, a remote and scenic mountain pass. Go as part of a tour that includes a boat transfer and jaunting car (pony and trap) ride, or prebook round-trip transport and walk the valley solo. Adventurous travelers can scale the crags here on a rock-climbing excursion.
Back in Killarney town, it’s time to experience the local nightlife. Along High Street and College Street you’ll find a range of traditional Irish pubs, many of which have dining rooms serving comforting pub grub such as lamb stew, bacon and cabbage, and fish and chips.
Dedicate a full day to this scenic driving route, where every twist and turn of the winding road reveals a new and beautiful beach, mountain, lake, or rugged coastline view. Drive yourself or leave that to a professional with a guided sightseeing tour by coach or bike.
By afternoon you should be about halfway around the loop route, somewhere near the fishing village of Portmagee. Have lunch here, then drive or take the ferry across to Valentia Island, where the Skellig Experience Visitor Centre documents the history of Skellig Michael, a remote island once inhabited by monks.
Stick around for a seafood dinner in Cahersiveen, then head out to stargaze. Parts of the Iveragh Peninsula have been designated an International Dark Sky Reserve. While you can bring a telescope if you have one, it’s possible to see loads of twinkling stars with the naked eye.